On truth in a moral sense

3 min read


But what are the actual different ethical systems? Let's summarize them briefly. 

Virtue ethics focuses less on actions or on the consequences of an action, but on the character of a person. At the center of virtue ethics is the concept of the virtuous person, a person who possesses excellent character traits. This person is constantly striving to improve his or her endowments and to move closer to an ideal. A canon of virtues can therefore be formulated and the individual virtues prioritized. The perfection of virtue is often equated with happiness. 

This is in contrast to ethics of attitude, where the attitude of an agent is decisive. This is also taken into account in criminal law, when the difference between murder, manslaughter and negligent homicide is formulated. 

Deontological ethics or deontology, on the other hand, refers to a class of ethical theories that do not determine the moral status of an action on the basis of its consequences. Certain actions can therefore be said to be intrinsically good or bad. This is contrasted with consequentialism, where it is precisely the consequences of an action that are made the standard for the moral evaluation of an action. 

Finally, there is the purpose-oriented (teleological) ethics, which is usually summarized under the term "utilitarianism", whereby this occurs in numerous, different variants. Reduced to a basic classical formula, it states that an action is morally right precisely when it maximizes the aggregate total utility, i.e., the sum of the welfare of all concerned. 

One could also extend the theories around "rational choice" or "rational egoism" as an ethical theory. In any case, we see that we actually - and this is also shown by the meme - necessarily follow a pluralism of theories and thus ultimately end up with a perspectivism regarding ethical evaluation criteria. The conclusion, however, that morality and ethics are therefore subjective is short-sighted.

So the meme shows a connotation of perspectivism, namely moral perspectivism. By perspectivism we understand the epistemological principle that perception of and knowledge about something is always tied to the interpretive perspectives of those who observe it. While perspectivism does not view all perspectives and interpretations as equally true or equally valid, it holds that no one has access to an absolute view of the world that is detached from perspective.

Thus, rather than attempting to determine truth by correspondence to things outside any perspective, perspectivism generally attempts to determine truth by comparing and evaluating perspectives to one another. (Moral) perspectivism can be seen as an early form of epistemological pluralism.

We can also distinguish between individual and collective perspectivism. It is easy to show that certain cultures accept moral ideas as fundamental, while elsewhere the same code may seem utterly absurd. In doing so, it becomes clear that we cannot reduce perspectivism as a form of relativism or even the rejection of a moral concept as objective fact. There are simply multiple conceptions that are, as it were, coexistent, not immediately "true" but, for all practical purposes, justified.  

While perspectivism presents a number of challenges to the nature of truth, its more controversial element lies in its questioning of the value of truth. This becomes a posterior parameter of evaluation in the context of a moral perspectivism.

So, you've just finished reading the funniest and most enlightening blog article ever written (we simply like exaggerations). Your mind is blown, your sides ache from laughing, and you would like to enjoy this experience regularly. Here's the kicker: you can simply subscribe to our free memesletter to get just such memes and their explanation delivered to your inbox on a weekly basis. Simply sign up at the bottom of this page!

Additionally you realize that you absolutely need some merch to commemorate this momentous occasion. Well, lucky for you, we've got the perfect selection of witty t-shirts, hilarious mugs, and sassy stickers that will forever remind you of that time you read that incredible blog post. And here's the cherry on top - use the promo code "BLOGREADER" at checkout to get a whopping 15% off your entire order! It's like getting a discount on instant joy and everlasting awesomeness. So go ahead and snag some swag, my friend. You deserve it.


You liked this blog post and don't want to miss any new articles? Receive a weekly update with the best philosophy memes on the internet for free and directly by email.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.